Map reveals toddler’s timeline of horror – and how police caught her schoolgirl kidnappers

editorial image

Police have released details of their operation after a three-year-old girl was kidnapped by teenagers.

The schoolgirls responsible, aged 13 and 14, have today pleaded guilty to kidnapping. Read more.

Here police detail the timeline of events:

1. 3:15pm - 3:26pm - Girls seen on CCTV stealing a dummy from the Boots store in Northumberland Street in Newcastle. Police believe they did this to help them with the kidnap.

2. 4:29pm - The girls take the three-year-old child from the Primark store and exit the store and up Northumberland Street.

3. 4:33pm - The girls and the child enter Haymarket metro station

4. 4:36pm - The girls get on a Metro train heading from Haymarket towards Gosforth

5. 4:44pm - The girls and the child get off Metro and leave South Gosforth Metro Station

6. 4:55pm - Report of missing child comes into Northumbria Police from manager at Primark in Newcastle. Alert is immediately issued to officers / partners in Newcastle and officers tasked with searching for the child.

7. 5:02pm - CCTV footage from the Sainsburys store, next to Gosforth shopping centre, shows the two girls stealing a bottle of milk.

8. 6:01pm - Child and two girls found safe and well in Gosforth Central Park by officers.

How police caught the girls:

•At 4.55pm on Wednesday, April 13, police received a call from the manager of Primark in Northumberland Street informing them a three-year-old girl had gone missing from the store.

•Officers immediately responded and after checking CCTV from the store it was quickly established that the child had left the premises with two teenage girls who she did not know.

•A full search operation was launched and an alert about the incident, including the description of the child and the two teenagers, was issued to all officers across the force area.

•The alert was shared with city centre retail and security staff via the local ShopWatch scheme and travel networks - including bus companies and Nexus - were also informed.

•Extra officers were immediately brought into the city centre to search for the girls and CCTV cameras in Northumberland Street, belonging to the local authority, Eldon Square and Nexus, were checked in quick time.

•These cameras showed the girls and the child had walked up Northumberland Street and had got onto the Metro at Haymarket station.

•At this point the search was widened as they could have travelled anywhere on the Metro line. Officers throughout the whole of the force area were put on alert and directed to try and find the children.

•While searches and enquiries were ongoing officers based in North Tyneside recognised the description of the two teenage girls from the circulation.

•Believing they knew who the girls might be and using their local knowledge and policing experience they passed their information onto the officer in charge of the search.

•The officers suggested the girls may head to Gosforth Central Park, as they knew the suspects often hung around that area, and could have travelled their via the Metro.

•Officers carried out a search of the area and at 6:01pm they spotted the two teenage girls and the child in Gosforth Park.

•The girls, aged 13 and 14, were arrested and the child, who was not injured, was taken into safety and re-united with her mother.

•A full investigation was then carried out and subsequent CCTV footage was found that showed the movements of the girls from leaving the Primark store.

•They had left the premises and got on the Metro at Haymarket station in Newcastle centre before travelling to South Gosforth Metro station with the child.

•They then went into the Sainsburys store in Gosforth and then Gosforth Park before being found by police.

•The two girls were charged with kidnap and appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates’ court on Tuesday, June 7, where they pleaded guilty. They will be sentenced at a later date.